Lisa over at Way Too Fantasy has created a Tarot Sequence-inspired book tag with the help of her #ScionsOfAtlantis Court – Team Death! And since she left it open for people to tag themselves, OF COURSE I’m claiming tag and jumping in!
Now, let’s begin!
Rune Saint John, Lord Sun
“Walk down the wrong street in this city and you could be gutted for your shoelaces. You could have a dagger stuck in your eye because you used the wrong adverb. The inside of a person’s head is a deep, dark place…”
A book that left you a little broken inside
The Mortal Sleep is the fourth and final book of Gregory Ashe’s Hollow Folk series, books about a traumatised teenager with psychic powers he really doesn’t want. That doesn’t actually come close to explaining these books, though, which are queer and powerful and soul-shaking and some of my favourite in all the world. And although the series does wrap up with a happy ending, it still broke me into little pieces. SOME SCARS NEVER HEAL.
“Don’t smile at me,” Brand said. “You’re still a dumb-ass.”
A book that is like your (snarky) best friend
Nobody does snark and giggles like Sarah Rees Brennan, and In Other Lands is a freaking masterpiece. A sarcastic bisexual boy named Elliot gets taken to magic school – and is seriously unimpressed. It’s hilarious fun while also taking on some tough topics and dissecting and inverting some pretty deeply-ingrained fantasy tropes. The best part is that it’s just – I call it one of my Happy Books; meaning that it just makes you feel good and happy, even though it’s not all pixie dust and candyfloss. There’s sad stuff, but the book as a whole is one of those that makes you happy to be alive.
He said, only a little shakily, “Quinn told me to pass along the warning. I’m not sure what rosy future Quinn prefers to see, but in the one he likes best, you and Brand are dear to him.”
A book featuring a prophecy
There’s a whole bunch of prophecies at the heart of the Chorus of Dragons series, but what delights me is that here, most people believe they’re trash and nonsense – in the whole first book we only here a line or two of supposed ‘prophecy’, because they’re considered so ridiculous no one can be bothered to quote them. Also, they all contradict each other and none of them make sense to anybody. There’s a whole lot of awesome packed into this series already, but this thing with the prophecies especially did make me grin.
“Max is fucking flooding me with texts.”
“I need to do laundry. Is it okay if I try to fix the washer machine? Oops, I didn’t fix the washer machine, where are the towels? I used up all the towels. Is it okay if I eat a Devil Dog? Oops, I ate all the Devil Dogs.”
“He ate my Devil Dogs?”
A book featuring a found family
It’s probably cheating to include one of the Tarot Sequence books in a Tarot Sequence book tag, but I can’t help it; Hanged Man is the best found family book I’ve read in a long time, and I can’t talk details because it’s not out until next month, but seriously, I teared up (in the best way) so many times while reading it. I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL IT’S OUT SO WE CAN ALL SCREAM ABOUT IT PROPERLY.
He finally said, “You interest me, Hero. I’m fairly sure you saved my life and a simple thank you seems so small. I don’t know whether I should pay you handsomely, or invite you into the shower with me.”
A book that gets exciting halfway through
I think Kushiel’s Dart is a neat fit for this category because the slow start is completely intentional on Carey’s part – Phedre, the main character, chafes at how long it takes for her to complete her training, to become an adult, to join her patron and foster-brother in their missions of espionage and sacred courtesanship. So it’s a very deliberate thing that the ‘excitement’ doesn’t start right away, and personally, I think it’s both worth the wait, and a pleasure to wait – even the ‘slow’ parts are lyrical, decadent, and an utter joy to read.
Her frost magic rose, forming shining rivulets of ice above the veins of her hand.
A book that left you cold
I hate that I just can’t get into this book. I was looking forward to it for over two years, but every time I pick it up, I end up bouncing off it. I think my most successful attempt got me about halfway through, and honestly? It puts me to sleep. The writing is bland, there’s only one interesting character and a couple of likeable ones, and the dialogue is so bad it makes my eyes cross. I doubt I’ll ever manage to finish it.
For a moment–just a moment–there was an expression on his face that I entirely mistook for pride, only wondering in hindsight if maybe it had been triumph.
A book featuring a mentor
I reread this book this year (an immense delight), and as those who’ve read it know, the relationship between mentor and student isn’t just at the heart of the book – it’s in the title! The horribly callous Mr Norrell deliberately buys up all the magic books in England and prevents other magicians from practising, but finds himself so excited to have a genuine colleague when Jonathan Strange, against the odds, manages to study magic and eventually becomes his, Norrell’s, pupil. Of course Strange eventually becomes the far greater magician…but that’s how a mentorship is supposed to go, right? The student is always meant to become the master eventually.
Lady Justice’s eyes were not normal. I’d heard this before.
They shifted and changed, their shape and color stolen from nearby memories. Even more unnerving was my implausible recognition of all the variations.
A book with a sinister secret
It’s more the trilogy as a whole than the first book in particular that has a terrible secret at its heart, but gods, it’s heartbreaking and horrifying when all the pieces come together. This is an incredible fantasy trilogy with a disabled protagonist in a magical post-apocalyptic world – and rather than boring us with yet another romance, the central, defining relationship of the trilogy is the friendship between two teenage girls. There’s ghosts and anti-magic and vicious critiques of capitalism and classism, some of the coolest magic I’ve ever seen, and a fiercely hopepunk heart beating at its core. If you haven’t read these yet, you need to.
Tagging…anyone who wants to take part! 😀 And thanks again to Lisa and #TeamDeath for the fab tag!